Boyd, Danah M., and Nicole B. Ellison. “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 13, no. 1, 1 Oct. 2007, pp. 210–230, Oxford Academic, Oxford Academic, https://academic.oup.com/jcmc/article/13/1/210/4583062.
Even though slightly dated, this article aims to defines social network sites and examines the history and future of these platforms. The research introduces the concept of bi-directional and one-directional connections in relation to self-presentation. For example, Facebook is a bi-directional connection in which both parties confirm their “friendship” while Instagram is a one-directional connection where reciprocation is not required. The other definitive qualities of social network sites are the construction of a profile and networking within a system of connections. The article also summarizes the history of social network sites, particularly focusing on the rise and fall of Friendster, and emergence of Myspace and later, Facebook. This research provides useful background information for researching how social media and dating apps have reshaped communication in society.
Hance, Margaret A., Ginette Blackhart, and Megan Dew. “Free to be me: The relationship between the true self, rejection sensitivity, and the use of online dating sites.” The Journal of Social Psychology, 17 Nov. 2017, pp. 1-9. Taylor & Francis Online, Taylor & Francis Online, https://www-tandfonline-com.proxy.library.emory.edu/doi/full/10.1080/00224545.2017.1389684?scroll=top&needAccess=true.
This study examines why people join online dating communities, particularly the relationship between rejection sensitivity and online dating. In Study 1, researchers replicate a previous study to explore whether the true self, who a person believes he or she is, mediates the relationship between rejection sensitivity and online dating activity. The results show that those with higher rejection sensitivity feel more comfortable revealing their true selves online than in-person. In turn, those that are more comfortable revealing their true selves online engage in online dating. The results of Study 2 were not statistically significant, but highlight the importance of self-disclosure in relationships. As I explore the effects of digital culture on communication, it is important to understand why people, and what type of people, are drawn to these platforms.
Hobbs, Mitchell, Stephen Owen, and Livia Gerber. “Liquid Love? Dating apps, sex, relationships and the digital transformation of intimacy.” Journal of Sociology, vol. 53, no. 2, 5 Sep. 2016, pp. 271-284. Sage Journals, Sage Journals, http://journals.sagepub.com.proxy.library.emory.edu/doi/10.1177/1440783316662718#articleCitationDownloadContainer.
In Liquid Love, Zygmunt Bauman argues that relationships have become liquefied by individualization and technological and social change. He sees dating apps, like Tinder, as a symptom of modern dating as a type of entertainment or game. This article cites the experiences of users of online dating and apps to assess the potential change in social values of love, intimacy, and sex. The interview accounts provide examples of the type of language and other social norms of dating apps that will be useful for my research of communication. Through surveying, this article also explains the different experiences people have with digital dating. Unlike Bauman, most users feel that these platforms are a new means to achieve the same goal of finding a relationship. However, some are concerned this type of networking only works for the attractive users because it focuses on profile pictures, not personalities. If that is true, it is important to consider in my research because it is an obstacle for online communication.
Kang, Tanya, and Lindsay H. Hoffman. “Why Would You Decide to Use an Online Dating Site? Factors That Lead to Online Dating.” Communication Research Reports, vol. 28, no. 3, 18 Jul. 2011, pp. 205-213. Taylor & Francis Online, Taylor & Francis Online, https://www-tandfonline-com.proxy.library.emory.edu/doi/abs/10.1080/08824096.2011.566109.
This study tests the factors that contribute to people’s use of online dating. But rather than examining rejection sensitivity, this study explores other factors. Of those factors particularly important to my research are trust, Internet activity, and perceived reliability of the Internet. This study discusses people’s trust of the internet itself. If someone uses online services frequently, he or she is more likely to trust online dating. This study also examines people’s willingness to trust other people. The results show that someone who is more trusting of others is less likely to use online dating. This finding raises questions and skepticism of self-presentation on the Internet and suggests that people are less trusting of others on the Internet. The distinction between trusting the Internet and trusting people will be interesting to explore within my research.
McAlone, Nathan. “RANKED: America’s Most Popular Dating Apps from Best to Worst.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 11 Feb. 2016, www.businessinsider.com/the-best-and-worst-dating-apps-in-2016-ranked-by-reviews-2016-2.
Business Insider’s article ranks the success of dating apps in the United States. The popularity of these dating apps, and the culture of each, is showcased through this ranking. This article highlights the distinct stereotypes of each platform which sheds light on the values of each of those online communities. This information will be useful to study the way people communicate within each app, including language and other signals that replace the traditional non-verbal cues of in-person interactions. This article also offers the perspective of these companies and their unique platforms as businesses.